Wednesday, July 29, 2009

health care reform, what me worry?

Is anyone else getting a headache trying to follow health care reform?

“What, me worry?” is not an illogical response to the overload of confusion and squabbling, especially when most people have some kind of health insurance.

Or is it? … Almost 5 years ago during a ‘Back to School Night’ at our daughter’s high school German class I stared in amazement at a student created display board of ‘features of Germany’. “Guaranteed Health Care for Everyone” was ranked #1.

Makes me wonder if confusion is intentional?

Players have no motive to change. Physician, medical insurance, and pharmaceutical parking lots look like BMW dealerships while for ‘we the people’ 50% of mortgage foreclosures and 62% of bankruptcies result from health care costs whether insured or not.

What happened to doing the right thing?

As a spouse caregiver for nearly 20 years and living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family we have seen US health care for both its best and its worse. Increasingly it is more like being in the belly of the beast.

Interestingly, this week on July 30th will mark the 44th anniversary of Medicare. While Medicare is certainly not perfect, it was a benchmark in caring as a society and has benefited countless Americans for decades.

‘Great Society’ legislation including civil rights, Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the ‘war on poverty’ were not accomplished with oratory, town hall meetings, public opinion polls, or consensus. President Lyndon Johnson strong armed Congress and twisted politicians’ arms until they did the right thing.

Doing the right thing is rarely the easiest way.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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  1. I'm for doing the right thing, Patrick, as long as everyone knows what they are doing, when they do the right thing. And to hear that a lot of our representatives haven't taken the time to read the bill or research or see if this is truly the right thing, I'm not sure how I feel about the present bill being presented. we are currently without health insurance (for about another 1-1/2 months due to a job change) and it is a bit disconcerting wondering if something catastrophic is going to happen that will tax our savings and wipe us out. We got into a minor fender-bender the other day and the first thing I thought, after we determined that we were okay for the moment, was "oh my gosh, we don't have health insurance". Thankfully other than being a bit sore, nothing major and our car insurance has several thousand dollars of coverage for health expenses if we needed to use it. I can't imagine how people feel who go years without insurance and how they deal with illnesses, etc. But I don't know what the answer is. I just think we need to be really careful in choosing it and be realistic where the money is going to come from to fund such a plan.

    (try) to enjoy the day :)


  2. Well put, Patrick. The process of reforming health care has been talked about for decades and it only gets more confusing as the years pass -- the longer it takes, the more opportunity to spread misinformation and fear.

    Thanks for speaking from the trenches.


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